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Everything is Copacetic

by sandra snider  
7/06/2007 / Prayers

Now there's a word you probably don't hear or use often. Copacetic.

It can be spelled two different ways: copacetic, or copasetic. It means very satisfactory or acceptable; fine, excellent, going just right.

The word was popularized by the tap dancer Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson, who used it heavily in his vaudeville and stage appearances in the 1920s and 30s. Southern black children could have heard the Hebrew phrase (Hakol BeTzedek, which means everything is OK) from Jewish shopkeepers and interpreted it as "copacetic", thereby introducing it into Southern black slang. The word was heavily used in communications between the astronauts and Mission Control of the Apollo Program the 1960s. The word could be a contraction or corruption of the phrase, "The cop is on the settee," meaning that local law enforcement was none too vigilant and all things were well. "Everything's copacetic." Everything's cool, smooth, OK.

This odd little word recently became a source of endless comedic material between me and a friend. With creative verbal sparring, we would see who could use it the most frequently and innovatively in conversation.
We had a blast with the word. It had become our own little private joke that only the two of us (or so I thought) were privy to.

Then one Sunday, with this person heavy on my heart and spirit, I went up to receive prayer at the altar rail. Kneeling with the two prayer ministers, they prayed for the situation and this person I brought before them and the Lord. Of course I had no need to mention to them the fun word phenomenon that took place regularly in conversation and banter between me and this person. Why would I?

So imagine my shock (and utter delight) when one of the intercessors closed with the assurance that, "Everything is copacetic!"

Now I don't know if she spelled it with a c or an s, but take your pick, because it's all copacetic to me and a reminder that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, is still on His throne and that He's keenly aware of every detail of my lifeincluding an archaic nine-letter word.

"Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows." Luke 12: 6-7.

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